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Plan to convert Eagle Rock estate into a priest retreat reveals a family feud and tax break for Katy Perry

Bekins mansion Eagle Rock

EAGLE ROCK — The Bekins estate on Hill Drive is another step closer to becoming a religious retreat for priests, to the chagrin of some family trust members, according to the Glendale News-Press.

The Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council recommended early last month that the City of Los Angeles grant the L.A. Catholic Archdiocese a conditional-use permit for the 3-acre estate, built in the 1920s by Martin Bekins, founder of the Bekins moving company. The property is now owned by the Kvassay family trust, whose members shouted at each other during the meeting, said the News-Press.

While trustee Robert Kvassay spoke in favor of selling the Bekins estate to the church, two of his brothers opposed the plan, saying the sanctuary may “become a haven for troubled priests.”

Under the archdiocese’s plan, the property on Hill Drive would be bought by a limited liability company connected to pop singer Katy Perry. That company would then donate the Bekins estate to the church, and Perry would gain a potential tax write-off (Perry is also involved in a legal battle to buy a former convent in Los Feliz).

Church representatives said priests would stay overnight at the retreat 10 times a year, and every bishop in Southern California would meet at the converted house for a large retreat twice a year, the Times said.

The plan to convert the estate is still subject to further review by the city’s Planning Department.

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